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Nutrition - Hydration

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Introduction

Hydration Our bodies are 60 - 70% made up of water, which is almost 2/3 of our body weight. We lose water through sweat, urine, faeces and in the air we breathe out. It is the main component in blood cells, which carry oxygen, nutrients and waste around the body. Water in the blood also maintains temperature regulation by absorbing heat produced during exercise. Almost every function in the body takes place through water and it acts as a solvent removing nutrients, antibodies, hormones and oxygen through the blood. In order to maintain homeostasis we must consume optimal amounts of water everyday otherwise our bodies could not function efficiently. Water is lost everyday through our regular activities and exercises, but also through our body functions. Elimination of waste is where we lose most water, which includes urination and excretion. As our body is made up of water and we consume water and fluids during the day there is a limit to how much fluids we can consume. When we reach the limit of fluid consumption our body uses urination to get rid of excess fluid but waste products also. If we do not drink enough water the amount of urine being expelled decreases and the urine becomes concentrated. Although when we become dehydrated the body rations and recycles water, and all fluid losing functions are reduced meaning waste that should have been carried out of the body by the fluid is now traveling into tissues and muscles instead. ...read more.

Middle

During exercise or sport as our muscles contract constantly heat is produced therefore causing sweating which in turn means a loss of electrolytes, these electrolytes must then be replaced in order for the body to function correctly. Fluid is lost through skin, lungs, faeces, urine, sweat and kidneys as part of every normal day life, which is why it is important to keep fluid, and electrolyte levels at an optimum. Electrolyte imbalance can cause problems such as - * Breathing: - changes in rate and depth of breathing * Pulse irregular: - heartbeat, changing pulse rate and faintness. * Abdomen: - bloated with cramps * Elimination: - unable to urinate, diarrhea or constipation * Head and Neck: - headache, thirst, and neck pains. * Behavior: - confusion * Skin: - very dry. This is why it is important to stay well hydrated with balanced levels of electrolytes. This is especially important in sport as the higher the intensity of exercise the higher the level of energy production required and therefore the higher the level of fluid replacement required due to a greater loss of electrolytes through sweat. During moderate exercise we lose more fluid than electrolytes but we need to be more careful about higher intensity exercise in hot temperatures i.e. a 5000m endurance run in 24 degree heat is very dangerous. Gastric Emptying Gastric emptying can be defined as the movement of liquid and or food out of the stomach into the small intestine. ...read more.

Conclusion

Energy bars contain extra vitamins and minerals so it is important that we monitor our vitamin and mineral intake before consuming any energy bars in order to avoid exceeding the recommended daily value for any minerals or vitamins as this could cause health problems. Although these bars contain high quantities of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates etc the quality of the nutrition may not be as good as to that of a real meal for example a bar may contain high portions of protein, however this protein would not be as rich as the protein we would receive through eating red meat. Athletes should be careful in which bars they select as some contain stimulants such as caffeine, ginseng, guarana etc that can be dangerous if they suffer from any health conditions. Nutritional bars are not adequate for replacing meals during the day but however would play a much better role in the diet in comparison to sweets, chocolate or crisps. So instead of eating unhealthy snacks between meals, especially if an athlete, a nutritional energy bar would be recommended. Although these bars contain the majority of athlete's nutritional requirements they contain little calories, which is why it is important that they do not replace proper meals. Energy bars are most suitable for a small snack before training to give them a small boost of energy, and also after training to help replace the body's energy sources. Class Notes Books Sport and PE, Advanced level study. Published 1998, Kevin Wesson, Nesta Wiggins, Graham Thompson, Sure Hartigan. London Web Sites http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/drinks.htm http://www.medicdirectsport.com/sportsnutrition/default http://www.lucozadesport.com/lucozade_logo.gif http://www.nulifevitamins.com/productimages/md-images/52717.jpg http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/stomach/regions http://www.utexas.edu/features/archive/2004/graphics/nutrition2.jpg ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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